Behind the scenes - Page 8

Finding Curtis

Casting was a bitch. We had the best casting director on the face of the earth, Belinda Gardea. But we were having a helluva time trying to find street-wise actors. I considered the idea of casting real writers, but the city was so hot (rat to cheese, warrants to writers), it was impossible to get young writers to come out for auditions, even friends and acquaintances. And our time-frame was limited. It wasn't realistic to find someone, teach them camera presence and methodology, and expect them to make a one-month, full time commitment for no pay. So, the search continued.

Belinda worked around the clock and put together an amazing cast. We were set. Right up until our lead (who will remain anonymous) pulled out a few days before production. (He got offered a 'real job.' Gotta pay those bills, I suppose.)

Brian had been hitting me up to play one of the leads since day one. I was weary of this for two reasons: 1) You should never allow the screenwriter on set. 2) Brian is like a brother to me and we fight like pit bulls. But, when our anonymous flaky friend fell off, I didn't have a choice. Fate was calling the shots and we rolled with it.

Brian balked initially when I officially offered him the part, but he came through like a champ. And now it's obvious that no one else should have (or could have) played that part. Brian shined like the star he is.

So, with that piece of last minute drama out of the way, the cast was set. Pre-production was another story.